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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello esteemed members,

I am new to this forum and have bought a used 2011 Chevy Cruze 1.4L turbo quite recently. I am a student and being my first vehicle I was super excited. Last month however I noticed rough idling and after some research I found out the PCV hissing noise and sure enough the orange valve was missing. I delayed the repair as I was traveling for a vacation. I returned today after a month and as I tried to unlock the car with the keys nothing happened, I replaced the key battery and got the same result. I unlocked the car manually using the keyhole and there are no lights, no sense or hint of any electrical power inside the car. I try to turn on the car but in vain and the key gets stuck in ignition. I call for roadside assistance and jump started the battery and within seconds the car starts and the technician advises me to drive the car around for 15 mins to charge the battery back up. I drive for close to an hour and noticed that when I was stopping in signals the dash would turn off and turn on as soon the car starts moving forward. After an hour I come back and turn off the car and key still wouldn’t come off the ignition and on trying to turn back on the car dies. I ask for another jump start service and immediately take it to Autozone where the person tells me the alternator is bad since my headlights were dimming and the interior lights were flickering softly. I get back home and with the car running and headlights off I check the battery voltage from the menu and it reads at 14V, next I turned on my headlights and the map lights and the voltage drops to 13.4V and suddenly the car dies and the headlights slowly fades away. I am gutted at this as the car ran fine even with rough idling till the day I left for vacation and am not sure how the alternator could die off without giving any warning

Miles on my car is at 98422K and if the my above post is too long, the core of my post is: Car would not start and no electrical systems turned on. On the first jump start car ran fine for an hour and died as soon as turning the engine off. The 2nd jump start lasted less than 30 mins and the car died again. Any comments or helpful pointers would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I say battery. When an older battery gets fully discharged, it can die and not take a charge.

If your alternator was bad, you'd never be able to drive the car for an hour.
 

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2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I say battery. When an older battery gets fully discharged, it can die and not take a charge.

If your alternator was bad, you'd never be able to drive the car for an hour.
The battery was replaced in August last year and am not sure if it just gave out by sitting in the parking for a month while I was on vacation. During the first jump start I was getting the “Service Stabili Track” message along with “ABS”, “Traction” and “Brakes” indication lights. These happened whenever the radio went off and disappeared when it came back on.

If the DIC says 14v or so, that is the alternator output voltage. What is the voltage when the key is on and not started? Probably nothing as it will not start, but if you trickle charge it enough for the dashlights to come on you would probably see less than 12v signifying the battery.

Cruze Battery Upgrade Options
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How-To: Installation of the Big 3 Cruze Kit
Clean the Terminals
I did not notice the voltage then, I only saw the reading after starting and once I started turning on the lights the voltage dropped to 13.4V and suddenly the car engine died along with the lights gradually fading away. Now the car is completely stalled and I am at a loss on what to do next. I am just hoping against hope it’s not the alternator as this vehicle is still under a loan and I can no longer afford the cost to fix an alternator. Only if GM had considered making a robust vehicle so people wouldn’t suffer so much.
 

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The battery was replaced in August last year and am not sure if it just gave out by sitting in the parking for a month while I was on vacation. During the first jump start I was getting the “Service Stabili Track” message along with “ABS”, “Traction” and “Brakes” indication lights. These happened whenever the radio went off and disappeared when it came back on.


I did not notice the voltage then, I only saw the reading after starting and once I started turning on the lights the voltage dropped to 13.4V and suddenly the car engine died along with the lights gradually fading away. Now the car is completely stalled and I am at a loss on what to do next. I am just hoping against hope it’s not the alternator as this vehicle is still under a loan and I can no longer afford the cost to fix an alternator. Only if GM had considered making a robust vehicle so people wouldn’t suffer so much.
Take the car to a reputable shop and ask them to test the charging system. Many shops will do this for free or possibly a minimal service charge. This will tell you if it is the battery and / or the alternator.

Also you did not comment on whether or not you followed the battery cable TSB or if your terminals are clean
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Take the car to a reputable shop and ask them to test the charging system. Many shops will do this for free or possibly a minimal service charge. This will tell you if it is the battery and / or the alternator.

Also you did not comment on whether or not you followed the battery cable TSB or if your terminals are clean
In my first post, I mentioned after jump starting the 2nd time I took it to Autozone who said the alternator was bad whereas the technician who jump started told me the alternator was okay. At Autozone he plugged and measured the voltage and saw the dimming and flickering lights to justify his assertion. Shortly after reaching home (luckily) the car died. I apologize for not commenting about the battery. I have not replaced the negative battery cables and the terminals are clean as when I purchased they had just replaced the battery and cleaned the terminals.
 

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In my first post, I mentioned after jump starting the 2nd time I took it to Autozone who said the alternator was bad whereas the technician who jump started told me the alternator was okay. At Autozone he plugged and measured the voltage and saw the dimming and flickering lights to justify his assertion. Shortly after reaching home (luckily) the car died. I apologize for not commenting about the battery. I have not replaced the negative battery cables and the terminals are clean as when I purchased they had just replaced the battery and cleaned the terminals.
The charging system needs a load test, not a voltage check.
 

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The alternator is putting out power. It does sometimes shut off at idle and counts on the battery to hold the fort until it can load down the engine again to provide charge. I still think the complete discharge has killed the battery. It's not the alternator's fault it won't take a charge.

You might want to read this article: Why You Shouldn't Let Your Car Battery Die

If you've got a battery charger will a desulfate feature, you might pull the battery out and let it sit on the charger and see what it can do for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The alternator is putting out power. It does sometimes shut off at idle and counts on the battery to hold the fort until it can load down the engine again to provide charge. I still think the complete discharge has killed the battery. It's not the alternator's fault it won't take a charge.

You might want to read this article: Why You Shouldn't Let Your Car Battery Die

If you've got a battery charger will a desulfate feature, you might pull the battery out and let it sit on the charger and see what it can do for it.
After reading your post, I have ordered a battery charger from Amazon with a desulfate feature. I have taken out the battery and once I get the charger will see how it goes by. I did use a voltmeter on the battery after taking them out and it read 1.18V. Does it mean the battery is dead beyond repair or recharge?
 

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Lead acid batteries don’t like to be ran fully out and to my knowledge it hurts them and it’s very hard to get them to function properly after doing so.
 
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An aspirin in each cell will help with sulphur. But if the battery is in that bad of shape. It's really not worth screwing around with.

How much was that charger compared to just fixing the problem with a replacement battery. You won't risk being stranded somewhere with a new battery. Unless the charging system isn't working.

Fixing problems are always the best solution to trying to wing a problem.
 

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After reading your post, I have ordered a battery charger from Amazon with a desulfate feature. I have taken out the battery and once I get the charger will see how it goes by. I did use a voltmeter on the battery after taking them out and it read 1.18V. Does it mean the battery is dead beyond repair or recharge?
You have a bad battery.
 

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I did use a voltmeter on the battery after taking them out and it read 1.18V. Does it mean the battery is dead beyond repair or recharge?
Batteries are considered fully discharged at 10.5V. A single cell is 1.5V.

Among the challenges is to get all the cells back up and running. That means charging dead cells without overcharging the charged ones. Furthermore, in discharging the battery, some cells died before others and then were getting reverse charged as the battery continued to drain.

You can play with it, but odds are the battery will never be the same - if you can bring it back at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
An aspirin in each cell will help with sulphur. But if the battery is in that bad of shape. It's really not worth screwing around with.

How much was that charger compared to just fixing the problem with a replacement battery. You won't risk being stranded somewhere with a new battery. Unless the charging system isn't working.

Fixing problems are always the best solution to trying to wing a problem.
The charger costs $35 and a new battery is around $119. I charged the battery for 2 full days using the desulfate mode. I was able to start the car and took it to a nearest advanced auto parts shop where they tested my alternator and battery. The alternator result came back normal with 14.94V under no load and 14.99V with a load. I am not sure if this is okay and would be glad to listen to members suggestions here. The battery charge was found to be low with the voltage of 12.6V and measured amps of 401A while the rated amps is 600A. They full charged it for 30 mins and put it back on. So far I have experienced no problems and the Service Stabilitrak error no longer pops up. The starter test results were normal as well with the voltage reading of 11.23V. Is there anything else I should watch out for? I am going to be replacing the PCV valve cover and do the V3 PCV fix kit by Andre
 

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The car has a smart charging system. The voltage will go higher than normal to get the current the computer wants to see going into the battery. 14.9V suggests the alternator can crank it out, but the battery is a bit stubborn about taking it. I don't know how long it takes to desulfate a battery, but more time on that charger wouldn't hurt. Especially if you're not going to be driving for an extended period.
 
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